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The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams, Blog Edition

By Jennifer McDougall featuring, Chris Prentiss

“A relationship is like a garden. To create a condition that will cause your plants to thrive and produce abundantly, you must weed, water, fertilize, and care for the plants in your garden. You must also know about the special needs of the plants you’re caring for. Some need more or less light than others, some need more or less water than others, and some need special fertilizers.”

– The Laws of Love, Chris Prentiss

After a series of failed relationships and heartbreak, I searched everywhere for the one book that could help explain everything there was to know about creating the relationship I have always dreamed of. It was not until reading The Laws of Love that my relationships became healthier and more steady. Whether or not those relationships lasted, they were healthier. With the help of this book, I learned about the many aspects of a healthy relationship, different approaches to try in difficult situations, healing my own wounds from the past, and when to walk away from a toxic relationship.

One thing you must know before we continue is this: “Attraction may be what draws us to another to create a relationship, but it is not what keeps us together. Attraction blooms in the beginning of a relationship because of physical attraction or sexual attraction or because a certain need is being fulfilled, but those impulses will all wear off, some sooner, some later.” (The Laws of Love, p. 150-151) If your relationship is solely based on attraction, you’re doomed. There must be depth to the bond you and your partner have other than the attraction you have towards one another.

For years, I found myself in unstable relationships with partners I had no business planning a future with. The trouble wasn’t always them either. In some cases, it was me. I accepted the love I felt I deserved.  There was little I truly understood about creating a healthy relationship. Reflecting on this now, I realize there’s a lot of drama I could of avoided if I read this book a lot sooner in life. Relationships are not always easy. Sometimes we need help. That is exactly what this book can do for you. Whether you are currently in a relationship or looking for one, this little gem can point you in the right direction to creating the relationship you’ve been dreaming of.

  1. If You Would Be Loved, Love Yourself

“Love yourself first and everything else will fall into line.” -Lucille Ball

To love yourself, does not mean to be in love with yourself. As Chris Prentiss states it in his book, “The kind of love I am talking about has nothing to do with being so caught up with your own accomplishments or success that you become egotistical, or being vain about successful family members, acquaintances, or family friends. And it has nothing to do with physical beauty or social status. Rather, the love I’m talking about is the regard you hold for your personal attributes of good character.” (The Laws of Love, p. 159) When we practice self-love, we take better care of ourselves and make decisions based upon the high respect we have for ourselves. Someone who does not love themselves, usually makes poor life choices- and participates in self-destructive behaviors. They tend to get themselves in trouble and attract an unnecessary amount of negative energy.

When we stop for a moment and realize how unique we are, how different we are, and how much we have to offer the world, we learn to appreciate our many gifts, talents, and the abundant amount of opportunities we have to be thankful for. To be loved, you must first learn to love yourself. Practice taking better care of your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. When you do these things you will attract positive people and events in your life. There is a wonderful meditation called, “Meditation on the Perfect You.” This 24-minute meditation will help cultivate a deep inner peace that will ultimately expand your consciousness and transform the way you see yourself; allowing the pleasures and fulfillment that you seek come to life.

Tips on practicing acts of self-love include:

  • Maintaining a positive attitude from the second you wake up till you fall asleep at night.
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated with plenty of pH balanced and alkaline water.
  • Avoid the use of all nicotine, drugs, and alcohol.
  • Practice a healthy hygiene and grooming routine.
  • Surround yourself with positive reinforcements and those who encourage, motivate, and support you. Avoid toxic people/energy.
  • Embrace changes and challenges in your life instead of dwelling on them.
  • Meditate at least once a day.
  • Get outside. Breathe in the fresh air and soak up the Vitamin D.
  1. Relationships Only Thrive in Safe Space

“If the environment in which your relationship lives is harsh and unforgiving, a place where sarcasm, degradation, and anger is present and where forgiveness, thoughtfulness, and love are in short supply, your relationship will wither and die…painfully.” – The Laws of Love, Chris Prentiss

Safe Space, is the space you create in your relationship that allows you and your partner to speak freely about your thoughts and feelings without any judgement, anger, or fear. It means “… in your eyes, your partner cannot make a mistake or do anything wrong.” (The Laws of Love, p. 69) Communication is one of the upmost important aspects of creating a healthy relationship. You and your partner must listen to one another fully– without interrupting them. If your partner has something on their mind or if something is bothering them, allow them to let it all out without responding harshly. Creating Safe Space removes fear from your relationship. When you know you can go to your partner about anything in the world and they are not going to attack you, you will be more likely to continue a free-flowing movement of communication in your relationship. And that is a very pleasant feeling.

Deal breakers and non-apologetic transgressions are still to be taken seriously. You should not make excuses for your partner’s reckless behavior or over indulgence in drugs and alcohol, and excessive financial spending habits. There should still be a fine line between right and wrong in your relationship.

To learn how to create Safe Space in your relationship pick up a copy of The Laws of Love today.

  1. Your Relationship Will Endure When You Make It Your Primary Priority

“To enjoy a meaningful way of life and produce a long-lasting relationship, you must place the continuation of your relationship above everything else.” – The Laws of Love, Chris Prentiss

In order to have a successful relationship, you must put your relationship and your partner first, always. Before making any type of decision consider your partner in the equation. If the decision is going to have a negative effect on your relationship, your best bet is to avoid making that particular choice. Avoid doing anything that could jeopardize the relationship. Every decision has a consequence so everything you do and say should be taken into consideration, as it will most likely affect your partner and your relationship. When we don’t put our relationships first and prioritize other people, our jobs, or anything else instead we run the risk of losing the person we love. Remember: this is a partnership. It’s not the same as it was when you were single. Your words and actions now play the role in two lives now, instead of only one.

Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

  1. An Ideal Relationship Can Only Exist Within Complete Trust

“Trust is the greatest of all foundations on which to build your relationship. Trust makes it possible for you to tell your partner your deepest fears, greatest shames, and most private thoughts without fear of ridicule or misunderstanding. Trust permits you both to soar free, roaming the skies of love without fear of falling.” – The Laws of Love, Chris Prentiss

It’s a wonderful thing to know that you can trust someone; that no matter what you can depend on them to follow through. Trust is something many people struggle with because of events that might have taken place in the past. When we stop worrying and learn to trust one another, there is a strong sense of security that is felt. That security helps strengthen a relationship creating less room for jealousy and doubt. In The Laws of Love, Chris Prentiss points out this very valuable key in creating the relationship of your dreams. He also mentions that you and your partner should both act in a way that represents loving, faithful, and respectful partnership. The two of you should trust one another not to flirt or do things you wouldn’t do if you were together.

To learn what you should do if that trust is broken, pick up a copy of The Laws of Love today.

  1. Successful Relationships Require Light from the Past

“Past relationships have created impressions and behavior patterns that carry over into your current relationship, affecting it in many ways. That includes relationships with parents and friends as well as with other people who have shaped you and your partner, particularly love relationships—the good as well as the bad.” -The Laws of Love, Chris Prentiss

Ever wonder why your partner reacts a certain way when you bring up a particular topic? Or how they shut down when you get after them about something? Do you ever wonder why they don’t open up to you when you ask certain questions? Or why they get sensitive during certain holidays or events? Chances are there are things in the past that have happened that effects the way your partner handles current events and circumstances. It’s important for the two of you to talk about past relationships, traumatic events, abuse, even joyful moments, hopes, and fantasies. Explaining to your partner why you are the way you are, will help give them insight into the person you are in the present moment. Keeping an open line of communication is very important and there is also where having Safe Space can be helpful. Doing these things will help you and your partner understand how to best treat one another.


Q & A with Chris Prentiss, the author himself  

J: Which one of the Laws of Love would you say is most important in creating the relationship of your dreams?

C: Creating safe space.

J: When did you first know you were in love with your wife, Lyn?

C: After a few months of occasional meetings and sending and receiving email, Lyn was in Hawaii, I began to perceive the wonderful, caring, sensitive woman Lyn is. What started as physical attraction, deepened into admiration for the person Lyn is, then into affection, then love blossomed. After 15 years, the love is stronger than ever.

J: What characteristics do you feel are most important when trying to find love?

C: You can’t find love. Love finds you. Gibran wrote, “Do not think you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.” When we wish for someone to love, we are deceiving ourselves. What we are actually searching for is someone to love us.

Jennifer McDougall w/ The Laws of Love

Jennifer McDougall w/ The Laws of Love

To read all of the 14 Laws of Love in detail, please purchase a copy of The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams, please visit,

To read more about Chris Prentiss, please feel free to visit his website at:


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Addiction, Addiction Treatment Centers, Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Dependency, Heroin Addiction, Passages Rehabs, Prescription Drug Addiction, Recovery, Rehab, Relationships

How to Talk to Your Loved One About Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

Sitting back and watching a loved one spiral out of control is heart-wrenching. The person you once knew has become angry, unstable, and quite possibly irresponsible. We know that you want to help them as best as you can. Without forcing them into rehab, it’s better if they see the choice as their own, but that you helped open their eyes to acknowledge a life-threatening problem. Don’t wait for them to lose everything before you step in and lend a helping hand. There are many things to expect, as this is not always a comfortable or easy process. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you initiate the conversation to motivate them into the right direction.

  • The person you love and care deeply about is most likely in denial. They may not believe there is a problem to begin with. It will take time for them to accept the fact that they are on a dangerous path that could be fatal and completely detrimental to everyone involved. They may think they’re behavior is normal and since they are alive and functioning there is nothing to discuss. This is where they are wrong and you shouldn’t give up persistence on the matter.
  • Expect volatile and emotional behaviors as this confrontation will be upsetting for them. Try your best not to fuel the fire with more anger. Make your points clear to them in a way that will stop them from yelling after they’ve screamed at you, told you how wrong you are, and how little you know about anything they are experiencing.

Many of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol spiral out of control whether it is immediately after being hooked on a substance or gradually over time. They desperately want to grab a hold of something that gives them purpose and fills void. Typically, they feel as though their lives are meaningless and no one really cares what they are experiencing.

Reaching for the bottle or a syringe to get high takes them away from the place they feel unwanted and forgotten. It’s painful for everyone involved: the addicted person, the family members, co-workers who witness the destruction, and friends who want to help. The addict may begin hearing that their condition is a disease and they are powerless over their own demons. That is not true. At Passages, we don’t believe that addiction is an incurable disease.  We believe in the empowering nature that as humans, we can overcome any obstacle that is put in our way; that if we look at what is causing the problem and focus on healing the underlying conditions then it is absolutely possible to break free and live an addiction-free life.

We believe that those who become dependent on drugs and alcohol do so for the following reasons:

  1. A chemical imbalance
  2. Events of the past you have not reconciled
  3. Current conditions you can’t cope with
  4. Things you believe that aren’t true

Chances are your loved one is struggling with one or more of these factors. In order for them to overcome their addiction they will need to enter a treatment center, such as Passages Addiction Treatment Centers where the healing process is focused on treating the underlying conditions. Talking to your loved one may seem uncomfortable at first, but it’s important that you don’t hesitate as the problem could grow increasingly worse. Here are 7 key points to focus on.

  1. Put a stop to enabling You may not realize it, but you could be making the problem worse by creating excuses for them, or sugarcoating the condition. Be stern about ground rules and the expectations you have for them. Hold them to their promises and commitments. Let nothing slide.
  2. Educate yourself as well as friends and family on everything there is to know about addiction. Start by purchasing a copy of The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure, written by Pax and Chris Prentiss.
  3. Ask questions. Find out what it is that is driving them to use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Let them open up to you. Listen attentively and make eye contact assuring them that you care and hear what they are saying.
  4. Make them feel loved instead of judged. Avoid using the term “addict” when addressing them. Don’t yell or make harsh threats. Try to avoid using phrases that belittle their worth. Instead, empower them and remind them of their strengths, aspirations, accomplishments, and how much they matter to you.
  5. Consider hiring a professional interventionist to conduct an intervention at home or somewhere private.
  6. Provide them with information on treatment centers. Give them brochures, contact information, photos, and enlightening reading material. Talk to them about the many treatment options available for them to get help and put a stop to this brutal battle.
  7. Suggest alternative options for coping with pain, social anxiety, or trauma. Provide them with a list of things to do and give them a sense of hope that things can get better with change. Life doesn’t have to be unmanageable or painful. It can be fulfilling and full of life if you’re willing to make real lifestyle changes.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Photo courtesy of: Jennifer McDougall

Addiction, Dependency, Relationships, Self-Improvement

10 Signs of Self-Destruction

By Jennifer McDougall

There’s a chance you know someone who has self-destructive behavior. You may have already recognized the signs and maybe you’ve talked to them about your concerns. The truth is that they might not realize what they are doing. Typically, those who have self-destruct tendencies do so for attention, self-pity, or maybe it’s because they have a load of issues they are unwilling to deal with. It’s an obvious cry for help. Instead, they choose to act out and behave in a careless manner that benefits no one, not even themselves, regardless of the people they drag down with them.

Here are 10 signs someone you know is self-destructive:

  1. Disregard for personal safety and security
  2. Careless spending
  3. Negative conversation
  4. Poor choices in friendships
  5. Blame others for their circumstances
  6. Overindulgence; purchases, eating habits, etc.
  7. Suicidal or bodily cutting
  8. Overuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  9. Refuse professional help or advice
  10. Ignore personal routine tasks; hygiene, personal finances, etc.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Image via Pixabay

Recovery, Relationships, Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

20 Ways to Create a Healthy and Sober Lifestyle

By Jennifer McDougall

If you are someone who just completed treatment and are looking to get back home and resituated into the comfort of your own surroundings you may be wondering what to do when you get there. First off, it’s important for friends and family to know that you are sober now and ready to focus on creating a lifestyle that reflects your good choices and healthy habits. If you are lucky, they will be supportive.

In some cases, family and friends have pushed back and said things like, “No you don’t need to eliminate certain things entirely. You just need to learn to use in moderation.” If you are someone who has a track record of addiction and abuse this may not be the best advice for you to hear.

You must feel comfortable and confident with your choices. They are only yours to make and when the influence of other people weighs in too deep it’s easy to get sidetracked. Don’t let this happen. Know who your true friends are and lean on those who support your choices to better yourself. This is the best possible way for people to respect you and your new lifestyle.

When you get back home, try to avoid all the people, places, and things that would encourage drug or alcohol use before you went into treatment. Remind yourself that this is a new path you are walking down and the only time you need to look back is to see how far you have come.  Here are a few ideas to keep yourself on course:

  1. Go to bed (9-10pm) and wake up early (6-7am).
  2. Sign up for a local gym and attend 3-4 times a week.
  3. Take weekly lessons for a sport you enjoy.
  4. Fill your bookshelf with new reading material.
  5. Stock up on delicious and non-processed food and beverage items (no sodas).
  6. Plan your meals each week without overdoing it.
  7. Attend local events (art shows, sporting events, live music).
  8. Travel to places you’ve never been before.
  9. Buy an assortment of herbal teas.
  10. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  11. Distance yourself from toxic people who make you feel less than amazing.
  12. Pick up a new hobby such as photography, drawing, reading, writing, golf, tennis, or basketball.
  13. Utilize a daily planner and to-do lists to make the most of your day.
  14. Spend time outdoors and in the sun to get vitamin D and fresh air.
  15. Keep track of your goals and aspirations.
  16. Learn new skills to better your career.
  17. Spend quality one on one time with those you love and who make you laugh.
  18. Let go of regrets from the past.
  19. Maintain stable relationships.
  20. Keep a level head and learn patience when necessary so that anxiety does not get the best of you.

Creating a productive routine for yourself will help broaden your perspective on life and what you are capable of achieving. The best way to create this routine is by practicing a set of tasks every day that makes you feel good about yourself and ensure absolute peace of mind. Crossing things off your list as you go and doing your best not to procrastinate on difficult tasks will help keep you motivated.

When you spend 30-45 minutes at the gym 3-4 times a week will not only help transform your body and release anxiety and tension, it will help you focus at work, at home, and on yourself. Exercise is essential to getting and staying healthy.

For other sober lifestyle tips, please read our other articles on the Passages Blog site and share them with friends, family, and co-workers. You are not alone in your journey to get and stay sober.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Image via Pixabay

Addiction, Passages Malibu, Passages Rehabs, Passages Santa Monica, Passages Ventura, Recovery, Relationships, Spirituality

Reading Recommendations by Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

By Jennifer McDougall

Studies have found reading to be one of the most beneficial activities you can do that can help improve your life and physical well-being. Reading can help improve your memory, focus and concentration, vocabulary, writing skills, and reduce a large amount of stress. It also allows you to expand your mind with a vast amount of knowledge with an endless number of exploratory topics.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we encourage our clients to read and be open to new material. To help you find some of the latest and greatest books on the market we have created the following recommended reading list. We hope you enjoy these many books, some of which written by our Co-Founders, Pax and Chris Prentiss.

  1. Be What You Want Have What You Want by Chris Prentiss
  2. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
  3. The Laws of Love: Creating the Relationship of Yours Dreams by Chris Prentiss
  4. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
  5. Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss
  6. Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love by Judith Orloff
  7. The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure by Pax and Chris Prentiss
  8. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  9. I Ching Wisdom: More Guidance from the Book of Answers, Volume Two by Wu Wei
  10. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

To shop our extensive collection of books, clothing, and other merchandise please visit our online wellness store at


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photos by: Jennifer McDougall

Addiction, Relationships

Codependent Relationships and Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

The Merriam- Webster Dictionary defines codependency as, “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly :  dependence on the needs of or control by another.”

The dependency on anything is the feeling that you can’t live without a person or substance. That in order to survive you must have this one thing or this one person in your life. You need it to be happy. The truth is that you have subconsciously connected deeply to this particular person or substance without realizing it until the grip has already been fastened. That is the scary part, because most of us don’t realize we are dependent until we realize we have to figure out a way to break free from the weight it tugs on us. One minute we have a crush on someone, the next we can’t seem to bear the thought of doing anything without them.

What causes this to happen?

In many cases, those who find themselves in codependent relationships have many insecurities, low standards, unhealthy habits and behavior traits, and unstable moods.

10 Signs you are in a codependent relationship:

  1. You are more focused on the needs of your partner rather than caring for your own personal needs.
  2. You and your partner disrespect each other causing you both to feel devalued and unappreciated regardless of the work you put into the relationship.
  3. You can’t make any plans without feeling the need to involve your partner even when it’s an “all women’s” or “all men’s” outing.
  4. You feel ashamed to talk to your friends and family about the details of your relationship, because you’re afraid of what they will think of you.
  5. You are unable to have fun and enjoy time away from your partner.
  6. You support your partner at the cost of your own wellbeing (financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially).
  7. Anxiety is one of the more common emotions you have in this relationship. You no longer feel much joy or happiness because you are so busy second guessing everything that goes on from one day to the next.
  8. You feel burnt out, tired, unfocused, unhappy, lonely, and/or confused about the direction on this relationship, because it seems to be headed in no other direction than south, and it’s taking a toll on you.
  9. You or your partner begins drinking more or using drugs to cope with their discomfort this relationship is bringing.
  10. You walk on eggshells and live in defensive mode every time your partner is around or you have a conversation.

How to change the course of your codependent relationship and break the addiction

In life, it’s important to be able to stand on your own two feet, to have fun, enjoy life; be your own person without relying on others to bring you happiness. We must practice doing things alone and being comfortable in our skin in order to have a healthy and well-balanced relationship with anyone.

When we latch on to other people or substances to keep up “happy”, we lose sight on our purpose in life; we get sidetracked and our mind becomes a fog. This is an unhealthy way to live, so what can you do to break-free from codependency and balance out your life so you can feel lighter, more energized, and more fulfilled?  Well, here are a few ideas:

  1. Spend more time with friends and family. Keep your connections with those who you can relax and have a good time with without getting yourself into any type of trouble or complicating matters with your partner.
  2. Talk to your partner about your relationship goals and where the two of you would like to see things go within the next couple years.
  3. Spend more time alone doing things that help you become a better person. Get rest, read a new book, sign up for a local gym, pick up a new hobby such as photography or tennis.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via We Heart It

Recovery, Relationships, Sober Lifestyle

I’m Sober, but My Family Isn’t Supportive

By Jennifer McDougall


Getting sober is one of the best decisions you will ever make. But what if your friends and family aren’t very supportive and think that instead of getting sober you should drink or use in moderation? As heart shattering as this may be for you to feel little support from your loved ones, know that they are probably in denial or unaware of the real issue. Maybe they are unwilling to give up drugs and alcohol themselves. The thought of being sober to (most) people who drink in moderation is a tough one to swallow.

Being sober is very rewarding.  You must do it for yourself though, and don’t let anyone try and talk you out of it or downplay your problem. This is your life and you need to be responsible for making the best choices for your health and well-being. If your friends and family don’t agree, find truly supportive people to surround yourself with.

The truth is that your family probably does not know the extent to your drug and alcohol use. Maybe they do not understand the reasoning for your decision.  Now would be the time to sit them down and explain it to them so they fully understand what you’ve been through, why it’s important to not even have ONE drink, and that they need to respect and support your life choices. Many people don’t understand that having just one drink will only throw you back into the cycle of bad choices and back into your addiction.

It is important to stay focused and remember why you made this choice in the first place. Maybe you’re like me and you were tired of waking up on Saturday mornings not wanting to get out of bed, looking at the thread of text messages you sent out last night and feeling so shameful about all the terrible decisions you made. Or maybe it’s 8 a.m. and you still haven’t gone to sleep because you’re still partying from the night before.

There are many reasons most of us decide to get sober but the most common reason is because most of us are tired of living with our minds clouded by poison and our lives shattered by the consequences of our toxic induced decisions.

When discussing your sobriety with friends and family be clear and firm in what you are saying. It is okay if they do not fully understand, but let it be known that you will not be participating in consuming alcohol or using drugs – not even one sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve, one toast of wine on a friend’s birthday, or even a slice of rum cake at the holidays.  Your sober actions and new-found healthy lifestyle will eventually prove that living a 100% sober life 24/7 is the best choice you’ve ever made. Give your family a little time. They’ll eventually come around.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via We Heart It.

Relationships, Self-Improvement

Are Your Influences Lifting You Up or Dragging You Down?

By Jennifer McDougall


How we feel and the circumstances of our lives can depend a lot on who we choose to surround ourselves with. The crucial question is asking yourself whether or not the people in your life (right now) are actually lifting you up and inspiring you, or are they dragging you down, complicating your life and putting you in dangerous or uncomfortable situations?

Take a moment and reflect on recent events with a friend or family member and find out whether or not they are lifting you up or bringing you down. Ask yourself these following questions to help make it clear in your mind if these influences are for your best interest, or the worst for your personal well-being.

  1. Do you feel inspired with new thoughts and ideas after spending time with this person, or do you feel drained and tired just from being around them?
  2. Do they listen to you as you speak, or do they interrupt you without hearing what you have to say?
  3. Do you trust this person, or do you feel uneasy about opening up to them because you fear they may use what you say to them against you to benefit themselves in one way or another?
  4. Do they compliment you on simple things and make you feel worthy, or do they belittle you making you feel like you’re not good enough, smart enough, or good looking enough?
  5. Do you feel safe around this person, or do they put you in uncomfortable and dangerous situations?
  6. Have you actually wondered why you continue to involve this person in your life because they don’t bring you much joy, or offer any kind of fun, excitement, or wisdom…?
  7. Do you feel a bit manipulated or disrespected by this person or this group of people?


After answering these questions and keeping a specific person, or group in mind, it should be clear to you who is lifting you up and who is dragging you down. The truth is that we all have someone in our lives that drag us down. The best way you can make life more enjoyable, peaceful, and less problematic is by distancing yourself from these people, and the situations they create.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Center at (888) 397-0112, for information about getting the treatment you need for a drug or alcohol related addiction today.


Image via We Heart It

happiness, beating depression
Recovery, Relationships

Beating Depression with Meaningful Activity, Helping Others

There may not be one single secret to happiness, but it appears that science has closed in on one of its key contributing factors.

A recently published study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shed new light on the true causes of lasting well-being.

The research examined a group of 39 teenagers over the course of a single year in order to gauge how their brains responded selfless acts and how those acts impacted long term contentment.

An article published yesterday in The Atlantic placed the study into a unique perspective, drawing upon the philosopher Aristotle to frame two basic types of happiness.  Hedonia, basic pleasure seeking (think watching the entire season of a show on Netflix), versus eudaimonia, pleasure that comes from meaningful engagement with life pursuits or helping others.

While short terms bursts of happiness feel imeediately good, new psychological research shows that helping others leads to more sustaining, eudaimonic happiness.

In recent research, scientists measure happiness by looking at the reward center of the brain, called the ventral striata, under an MRI.

The group of 39 teenagers was assembled because the teenage brain is so responsive to both positive and negative emotions.  Both depression and happiness tend to peak in late adolescence, in many individuals.

The teens had their brains scanned using an fMRI while choosing between keeping money to themselves (hedonic) or giving money to their family (eudaimonic).  One additional experiment included a game that allowed them to take risks in order to earn more money for themselves (hedonic).

A self-reporting questionnaire was administered following the initial scan.  Another follow-up questionnaire was then administered one year later.

The results revealed that teens who decided to make the family-donation decision demonstrated the most substantial declines in depressive symptoms.  Overall, their sense of wellbeing increased.  Teens who played and received the greatest boost from the risk-taking game demonstrated the greatest risk in depression.

The authors noted that their findings show that well-being may depend upon contributing to more selfless, higher nature, rather than immediate, base pleasure.

Although being young doesn’t always translate smoothly to acting selflessly, there may be an important take-away in this study which allows for greater insight into what we really need to be happy.

Said better in another study from a year ago: “Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

By going a bit deeper and extending ourselves beyond our own world, into that of others, there appears to be not just a secret to happiness, but an entire world where it freely exists.

Relationships, Spirituality

More inspiring audio clips from Passages Malibu co-founder Chris Prentiss

Chris Prentiss co-founded Passages Malibu with his son Pax in 2001, after helping Pax address the underlying issues that were driving his addictive behavior.  Through Chris’ dedicated help, Pax was able to get to the root of his addiction to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin and get back to living his life.

Chris’ metaphysics talks are the backbone of the Passages philosophy and offer a rare glimpse into the Passages addiction treatment experience.  Chris wrote and published several books on living well and self-empowerment including  Zen and the Art of Happiness and The Laws of Love.

We’ve taken the opportunity to share some of Chris’ insights and wisdom in the audio clips below.  Thank you for listening!  We hope you enjoy.

If you would like to hear more of Chris’ metaphysics talks, you can find them here.

Addiction, Passages Rehabs, Relationships, Teen Addiction

Family and Addiction

Family members can enable drug use. Enabling means a family member allows drug use by helping the user with whatever they need and overindulging the user with love and affection. Although this seems harmless, these behaviors actually hinder a recovery from drugs or alcohol.

Addiction in the Family: Enablers and Abusers

Image via We Heart It

Addiction in the Family: Enablers and Abusers

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Worldwide Drug Abuse

Many of the articles we read and the studies we observe are discussing drug and alcohol abuse in the United States.  However, drug and alcohol abuse is a problem that is occurring all around the world, and has been an issue in numerous countries for centuries.

Research studies do show that specific drugs used vary from country to country and from region to region. Throughout the world, the main substance of abuse is alcohol, and the three main illegal drugs of abuse are marijuana, opiates (particularly heroin), and cocaine.  Drugs have been present in every culture throughout history, whether used for medical, religious, or recreational purposes.

The problem of drug abuse around the world has dramatically increased during the past 100 years, as advances in chemistry and science have allowed new drugs to be mass-produced and created synthetically from old sources.  Unfortunately, these new drugs that are refined and created synthetically are often more dangerous, powerful and addictive than any drugs in the past. While great advances have been made in the creation and use of drugs for medical purposes, drug use for recreation and pleasure has increased sharply, resulting in a much higher occurrence of addiction around the world.


Image via We Heart It